"I went to Jerusalem to become acquainted (Gk. istoria) with Cephas" - Paul's words from Galatians 1:18.

Dr. Al Mohler, a Baptist Woman Home Missionary Teaching the Bible to Pastors, and Drunkenness

During the 2018 Southern Baptist Convention, I stepped to Microphone 6 to ask Dr. Mohler and the other Southern Baptist seminary Presidents a question.

Before I tell you what I asked, let me give you some background.

I, like all Southern Baptists, believe the Bible is God's infallible and inerrant Word. What I've discovered over the last dozen years is that men in control of the Southern Baptist Convention desire to tell you what the Bible means and don't like people disagreeing.

There's nothing wrong with giving others an interpretation of God's Word. Pastors do it all the time. It's called exegesis or "a critical explanation or interpretation of a text of Scripture."

But the Southern Baptist Convention will always be in trouble when there is a demand for conformity on tertiary matters of theology instead of a decision for cooperation around the primary message of the Gospel.

There is a huge difference between believing the Bible is God's Word and interpreting the Bible as God's Word.

None of us is God. God doesn't stutter when He speaks, but we're often at a loss when we listen. "He that has ears to hear let him hear," Jesus said. The problem is us, not God.

If I don't think I can make a mistake in interpreting God's Word, then I have a problem with pride. I've placed myself in the position of God, telling you that you better believe what I say. God doesn't like pride, and pride will always lead to a personal fall.

That's why we all better be humble about telling others what God is saying. We may actually be misunderstanding God's Word. To believe God's Word is infallible is a confession of faith in God and God's Word. But to believe my interpretation of God's Word is infallible is a confession of faith in myself and my abilities.

So Christians have a simple job as fallible people who follow Jesus Christ.
We are to always make sure we don't confuse our interpretation with God's inspiration. 
That's why I like to ask seminary Presidents questions.

They are some of our most educated,  intellectually astute, and theologically-minded people in the Southern Baptist Convention. But if they're not careful, seminary Presidents - like pastors -  can get in the bad habit of thinking their interpretation of God's Word is infallible.

Al Mohler (Photo: Van Payne, Baptist Press)
Al Mohler does not believe that a woman can teach pastors the Bible. In Southern Seminary's School of Theology, there are  35 professors - 34 white men and 1 black man  - who are teaching and training Southern Baptist preachers and teachers, pastors and theologians, for the purpose of building the kingdom of God to the glory of Jesus Christ.

There are no women. 

Al Mohler, Paige Patterson, and a host of other current and former leaders of the Conservative Resurgence interpret God's Word as saying, "No woman shall ever teach a man or have a position of authority over a man (e.g. especially holy men like pastors)." 

I believe their belief is built on an erroneous interpretation of God's Word.  God commissions His people to serve His Kingdom based on their giftings and not their gender

Male pastors taking "spiritual authority" over people is fraudulent authority in Christ's Kingdom. It's not supposed to be that way. It's contrary to the teachings of Jesus. The idea that male pastors have some kind of "special authority" is the result of a misinterpretation of just one or two passages from the New Testament

Yet SBC Presidents pontificate on pastoral power as if this pagan principle is actually a Papal bull. 

And it's also why female Hebrew professors are wrongly fired in the SBC. It's why male students leave class when a female seminary student exegetes the Scripture. It's why females are not in leadership in the SBC. 

That's all background for why I went to Microphone 6 and asked my question of Dr. Mohler and the other Southern Baptist Seminary Presidents. 


The Question
"Dr. Mohler, I want to thank you and the other seminary Presidents for your leadership and your reports. I've sat through many years of annual meetings, and the reports from our seminary Presidents this year constitute the best I've heard. Thank you all for your transparency, theological acumen, and love for Christ's Kingdom.
In light of several Southern Baptist women writing to me and telling me that Southern Baptist male divinity students are encouraged by seminary professors to walk out when female students fulfilling M.Div. requirements exegete the Scriptures out loud, and personally knowing that there have been unjust terminations of Hebrew and Old Testament professors in our Southern Baptist seminaries because they are females, and observing the lack of competent, gifted women in leadership of the Southern Baptist Convention, I have a specific question that I'd like to ask you and the other seminary Presidents.
In 1863,  Joanna P. Moore (1832-1916) was appointed the first female Baptist missionary was appointed to the Home Mission Field by the American Baptist Convention, an original member of the Triennial Convention (1814), the forerunner of the Southern Baptist Convention (1845).
According to the Home Mission Monthly Magazine, Joanna Moore arrived for her first mission assignment on Island #10 in the Mississippi River. She ministered among former African American slaves who were now being protected by the Union Army. These former slaves had their own male pastors, mostly illiterate men who faithfully shepherded their fellow Christians in the plantations of the south.
These African American plantation preachers had never heard or thought it was wrong to get drunk occasionally until Joanna P. Moore arrived. She faithfully taught these pastors the Scriptures, especially expounding I Timothy 3:3 and the biblical prohibition against drunkenness. The pastors reformed their conduct, ceasing their occasional habit of getting drunk, and were better pastors due to the influence of Joanna P. Moore. 
So here's my question: 
Was it sinful for Joanna P. Moore to teach those male pastors the Word of God, and should she have remained silent and let those pastors continue in their drunkenness?"
After some laughter from the crowd, Dr. Mohler gave his response which demonstrated a great deal of inconsistency (I'll write on his response at another time).

My goal with this post is to encourage all fellow Christians who love Christ and His Word to consider and contemplate the illogical, fallible, and impractical interpretation that prevents a woman from teaching men or pastors the Holy Scriptures.

Never give in to demands for conformity on a specific interpretation of Scripture when your Master is Jesus Christ, and only His Word is infallible, not the words of a man.

Search the Scriptures for yourself and draw your own conclusions.

I've drawn mine. 

For more information on Baptist evangelist Joanna P. Moore, watch this short video.

117 comments:

Bob Cleveland said...

It's called a "Biblical worldview", which we do need ... even with reference to the church.

Donald Johnson said...

There are areas where different understandings make very little difference in one's actual walk. And there are areas where different understandings make a huge difference in one's actual walk. In the latter case, I think one should try to gather data. If this difference harms the body of Christ that is where I really have concerns. I think the gender caste system that is regularly taught by some in the SBC harms the body of Christ.

Wade Burleson said...

Donald Johnson,

"The gender caste system that is regularly taught by some in the SBC harms the body of Christ."

Could...not...have....said...it...better.

Nancy2 said...

"Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it."
Hmmmm ....... that "narrow way" must have at least two lanes, because women are not allowed to walk the same pathway as the men!

Sallie Borrink said...

I am not surprised you received an inconsistent or illogical answer. That is what happens when someone has a theological grid to protect at all costs. That grid means it's better for men to be drunk than hear Biblical instruction from a woman. It's better for a lost man to drown than hear the Gospel preached by a woman. That is the logical outworking of their grid when they are pushed.

Most people won't push them and expose the inconsistencies because it's too discombobulating to realize what it could mean. And so we end up with nutty things like Grudem's hierarchical list of 83 things women can and can't do or a Christian leader who can't simply say, "Of course it was right for her to teach them what the Bible says about drunkeness."

Wade Burleson said...

Sallie,

Amen. "Nutty" is an appropriate word.

Bill said...

What gets me about the women in the pulpit issue is that it seems perfectly alright for a woman to sing a solo in front of a congregation ( without sitting) but no preaching from the pulpit. Isn’t singing a solo a form of preaching? There is a message being presented by the soloist and that message reflects biblical truths just like preaching from the pulpit does. No difference as far as I am concerned.

Ben Stratton said...

Wade,

You wrote, "There is a huge difference between believing the Bible is God's Word and interpreting the Bible as God's Word."

What where do you draw the line at distinguishing between the two? For example Southern Baptists hold that believer's baptism by immersion is the only true baptism Is this merely an interpretation? Our Pedobaptist friends would say yes. Yet we as Baptists would declare we are simply believing what the Bible clearly teaches.

As to Joanna Moore teaching pastors on Island #10, here are a few thoughts: 1) Were there any Southern Baptists in 1863 who believed women could preach or teach men in a church or seminary setting? 2) Did Joanna Moore get up in church and preach a sermon to these preachers or did she instruct them privately as Aquila and Priscilla did Apollos in Acts 18:24?

Samuel Conner said...

Perhaps it would have been OK if one of the male pastors had interviewed the female and then authoritatively interpreted her answers to the other males present.

Wallace H. Rowland Jr. said...


Why do Bible interpreters assign Jesus' name to their Bibles?

--Wallace

Aussie John said...

Wade,

"Male pastors taking "spiritual authority" over people is fraudulent authority in Christ's Kingdom".

Amen!!

I would ask these fellows,"Are those many men who, under the ministry of the Scriptures by women,trusted in Christ and His finished work, Christian brethren?"

Samuel Conner said...

It appears to me that there may be a "Catch-22" hidden within the complementarian position.

Per Mt 18, a wife who has been sinned against by her husband should attempt to deal with the matter privately with him before bringing witnesses or involving the rest of the congregation.

But the four forms of ministry for which the God-breathed Scriptures are profitable include reproof and correction, which presumably in the complementarian view should never be done by any female toward any adult male.

So a battered wife who is trying to obey God in a terrible situation cannot reprove or correct her husband, and she can't involve outsiders without first attempting to induce her husband to repent. Is she completely stuck?



Anonymous said...

In the OP: "If I don't think I can make a mistake in interpreting God's Word, then I have a problem with pride."

Life if full of inaccuracies. I have a margin of error rule where I assume that most things in life have a margin of error and even after all possible refinements have been made there is still a probability of a least a 2% margin of error. For example, if I read a news article, there is probably some inaccuracy in it. This becomes abundantly clear when the writer has limited knowledge on a subject in which you are well versed. We ALL know that computer code can never anticipate every possible execution path. Frequently when teaching a complicated subject, over simplifications are made so that general principles can be established before subtleties can be mastered. It took me years to realize that fixing a box mac 'n cheese didn't really require EXACTLY 6 cups of water to cook correctly.

Point is: in a world of margins of error, inaccuracies, incomplete knowledge, and false assumptions who am I to presume the ALL my theology is correct? I believe a full audit of my belief system would reveal that I hold to mutually exclusive positions if everything could be simultaneously examined. This is not deliberate, I just lack the intellectual ability to handle every nuance of every presupposition and conclusion in every contextual permutation. It is not wrong for me to believe that I am right, but I should do so with the humility that I may not have arrived at all the correct conclusions.

As you can see from this discourse, I am very proud of the fact that I can acknowledge that I might be wrong.

Jeremy said...

I think it's a bit simplistic and dismissive to refer to male-only pastors/elders as "nutty". It's pretty insulting to the leadership of churches for hundreds, even thousands of years. Are we really the "enlightened" ones who have finally understood the Bible? Shouldn't we talk about these issues in a more thoughtful way, since so many have held to this position? Shoot, I think the seminary gets some credit for acting in such a counter-cultural way.

It's one thing to say, "women should be able to be pastors/elders". It's another to say that those who hold to such a position are defective in some way, that they deserve censure. And of those to censure, why Al Mohler? Wasn't he one of the most vocal and thoughtful voices advocating repentance to the SBC in recent months?

Sallie Borrink said...

Samuel Conner said...
Perhaps it would have been OK if one of the male pastors had interviewed the female and then authoritatively interpreted her answers to the other males present.

^^^^^^^^^^^^ Winner of the internet today.

I confess I snorted when I laughed out loud. Snarky truth always amuses me.

Sallie Borrink said...

Jeremy,

I referred to the Grudem list as nutty, not any person. And it is. Here is a PDF link to it. Do we truly believe that in order for women to follow Christ and use their spiritual gifts that we need lists like this?

http://cbmw.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/1-2.pdf

Sallie

Jeremy said...

I think you're misunderstanding the purpose of those lists. It's not a definitive list of what women should or should not do. Grudem says that he often is asked "where to draw the line" when it comes to women's roles in the church. There are three lists, each covering an aspect of authority, and moving from greater to lesser authority. Grudem tries to give his reader tools to know how to "draw the line" in their own congregation, acknowledging that it's entirely appropriate for different churches to draw the line in a different place, considering the circumstances.

Now, even if you disagree with his assumption that there are biblical restrictions on women holding roles of authority, there still should be nothing surprising that such lists exist. You could imagine a similar set of lists for determining what falls under the purview of "deacon", "elder", and "pastor".

Debbie Kaufman said...

"Grudem says that he often is asked "where to draw the line" when it comes to women's roles"


Jeremy: Grudem has no say where the line is drawn on women's roles. None. There is no line to draw and it's none of his business for him to draw the line for me or anyone. Nowhere in scripture does a strange man or a man not my husband draw the line for women. My husband chooses not to draw a line for me but to support me, he and God are the only two opinions or drawers I care about.

Debbie Kaufman said...

BTW I use the non word "drawers" on purpose.

Wade Burleson said...

Jeremy,

"There are three lists, each covering an aspect of 'authority.'"

Please explain to me, Jeremy, what Jesus meant below - especially the phrase "It is not to tbis way among you" Does it not seem he is saying DISCIPLES are NOT to EXERCISE AUTHORITY OVER OTHERS:

"25 But Jesus called them to Himself and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great men exercise authority over them. 26 It is not this way among you, but whoever wishes to become great among you shall be your servant, 27 and whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave; 28 just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His [a]life a ransom for many.”

Wade Burleson said...

That's Matthew 20:25-28

Sallie Borrink said...

Jeremy said:

I think you're misunderstanding the purpose of those lists. It's not a definitive list of what women should or should not do. Grudem says that he often is asked "where to draw the line" when it comes to women's roles in the church. There are three lists, each covering an aspect of authority, and moving from greater to lesser authority. Grudem tries to give his reader tools to know how to "draw the line" in their own congregation, acknowledging that it's entirely appropriate for different churches to draw the line in a different place, considering the circumstances.
---------------------------

So let's assume the complementarians are correct for the sake of argument. What this creates is a nightmare for women when everything is based on "considering the circumstances." A woman is a member of a church and is using her gifts in a way that doesn't "cross the line" for the current leadership. Then the leadership changes. So does the line. Now the woman is forbidden from using her gifts.

So she has a choice. Does she submit to the men who have arbitrarily decided her gifts are no longer valid? Or does she leave and find a church where the lines are drawn to include her? If she stays, she is no longer using her gifts given to her by the Holy Spirit and previously acknowledged by men "in authority over her" to be appropriate. Were the previous men right? Or were they wrong? Either her gifts are given to her by the Holy Spirit for the edification of the ekklesia or they weren't. Which is it? And why do these men get to decide how she serves Christ?

If she leaves, she'll be labeled a liberal or a feminist. She'll be labeled divisive. If the new leadership is really extreme, they will label her in rebellion. They might not even want to let her leave and transfer her membership because she is in rebellion. Do you think I'm exaggerating? I'm not.

I'm not misunderstanding that list. I'm telling you I think that list is horrible for women on many levels.

Jeremy said...

I feel like I have a lot of responding to do, heh.

Debbie, people are ASKING Grudem for help on "drawing the line". And he says that, while two churches may agree in principle, in many cases "drawing the line" depends on circumstances. He's specifically saying that he can NOT "draw the line" for every set of circumstances.

Wade, using the example you quoted, do you deny that Jesus has authority over the church? Isn't the point, not that there is NO authority, but that a mark of authority is serving others? Paul refers repeated to his authority to rebuke, such as his reference to the "authority that the Lord gave us" in 2 Cor 10.

Sallie, you're saying that this is some extra burden that women have in the church. EVERYBODY has to do this. If you're a pastor at one church, what's expected of you will change if you move to a different church. What is normal at one will seem weak or domineering to another. Same with elders and deacons. Same with the laity. The ways that different gifts serve the congregation will naturally be different in another congregation. We should ask, not "how can I do the same things at this new church", but "how do my gifts serve this different church".

I think there ARE churches that exclude all manner of gifts (most notably the artistic ones) because of a failure of imaginative leadership. But saying that the ONLY "important" roles are teaching or preaching, and thus that women are excluded from exercising their gifts, is exactly what Paul spoke against in 1 Corinthians 12. And shoot, his whole point there is to set up the even "better way", where having love for one another is better and more glorious than ANY spiritual gift.

Rebecca Davis said...

Thank you, Wade. Though I rarely comment, I never fail to learn from your posts.

Sallie Borrink said...

Hi again, Jeremy,

I'm enjoying our conversation. :-)

What you are talking about is personality and leadership style. That's not the same as gifts given by the Holy Spirit for the edification of the ekklesia.

If a woman has a gift of teaching and is teaching a mixed adult SS class, does the new leadership have the "authority" to tell her she no longer has that gift and is no longer able to teach adult men?

I DO think this is an extra burden on women in the church. I know it is because I have lived it.

Sallie

Gary Dennington said...

From 1964 to 2000 there were women pastors in the SBC. It would seem to me that the SBC should repent of that error, or repent of their current position. Repentance aside, the SBC has historically practiced and taught both positions.

Debbie Kaufman said...

Yeah, that was a loaded comment there Jeremy. haha. But to give feedback on they asked Grudem, the proper answer would be "I cannot draw lines...I would not draw lines.....I do not believe in drawing lines. Pick A, B, C or all the above. Then giving the scripture that Wade and Sally gave up top.


Churches have no reason or right to disagree, they cannot scripturally draw lines. I have tried to simplify, I hope I succeeded. Let's see how you would feel if lines were drawn for men and the tables were turned Jeremy. And I too am enjoying the discussion. But your questions or thoughts are loaded. Haha

Debbie Kaufman said...

I do think lines should be drawn on morality terms and amount of Justice given. We have just dealt with that in the Convention to some degree. I think instead of drawing lines.....treatment of women, and anyone who does not have white skin or immigrates to this country should be the model for church leadership or teaching. Male or female.

Bob Cleveland said...

Worth repeating: "Your sons and daughters will prophesy...", and SBC entities seem to be allowed to make rules against that.

Come to think of it, as does the committee that drew up the BF&M 2000.

pam said...

Bill said, "What gets me about the women in the pulpit issue is that it seems perfectly alright for a woman to sing a solo in front of a congregation ( without sitting) but no preaching from the pulpit. Isn’t singing a solo a form of preaching? There is a message being presented by the soloist and that message reflects biblical truths just like preaching from the pulpit does. No difference as far as I am concerned."
+++++++++++++++++++++++++

Well, let's face it. The main event is the sermon. a woman as the main gravitas event is simply too much to handle for delicate complementarian men with their fragile egos.

They seem totally oblivious to how transparent they are.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Wade, so because there are no women professors in the SBTS School of Theology, does that mean that no men who are training to be pastors are ever taught by a woman in the classroom while at seminary?

Sarah Green said...

"So a battered wife who is trying to obey God in a terrible situation cannot reprove or correct her husband, and she can't involve outsiders without first attempting to induce her husband to repent. Is she completely stuck?"

Samuel, that is exactly why complementarian counsel to abused women is so awful! She doesn't have the authority to reprove or correct!

That's why in John Piper's imaginary scenario of how a wife responds to abuse (weirdly, in his scenario, the husband is trying to persuade the wife to join in group sex), the wife is supposed demur while simultaneously boosting the husband's ego, thusly:

“Honey, I want so much to follow you as my leader. I think God calls me to do that, and I would love to do that. It would be sweet to me if I could enjoy your leadership.” And so – then she would say – “But if you would ask me to do this, require this of me, then I can’t – I can’t go there.”

So in this way she can avoid sin while still caring for her husband's fragile ego.

Oh, and as an afterthought, he then says, "If it’s not requiring her to sin, but simply hurting her, then I think she endures verbal abuse for a season, she endures perhaps being smacked one night, and then she seeks help from the church."

Hmmmm. Looks like this excellent teaching has been removed from the Desiring God website. So here's the link: https://archive.org/details/WhatShouldAWifesSubmissionToHerHusbandLookLikeIfHesAnAbuser

Doug said...

Debbie. Our house=

“Nowhere in scripture does a strange man or a man not my husband draw the line for women. My husband chooses not to draw a line for me but to support me, he and God are the only two opinions or drawers I care about.“

Steven (concerned pastor) said...

Man this is just too funny. Why not ask the United Methodist Church how having women in charge is going? It’s not. My point is that the SBC is starting to become the laughing stock of Christianity and it disgraced me. And I am an SBC pastor. Scripture is plain as say to a woman’s role. How can a woman pastor be the husband of one wife? Did I miss something here? I can guarantee that within ten years the SBC will be allowing the lgbtq to hold roles as pastors and other lead staff. I ground my faith on the scripture and as I learned to interpret scripture I was instructed very carefully to not read into it what I wanted to get out of it. Try reading Jeremiah 8:8-13. R. I. P. SBC

Wade Burleson said...

Steven,

Answer me straight up. In the New Testament, the qualifications for "deacons" are the same as "pastors" - "the husband of one wife" - or literally, "a one-woman man." The New Testament also tells us that deaconess Phoebe (a woman) served the church in Rome, and according to Christian tradition, "carried Paul's letter to the Romans in the folds of her robe." The New Testament flat out calls her a deacon.

So, explain to me how you believe "the husband of one wife" excludes women when the inspired, infallible, and inerrant Word of God gives us a woman who serves as a deacon?

My answer: The statement "one-woman man" is a character qualification, not a gender qualification, so deaconess Phoebe had a heart that met the qualification - she was faithful to the one whom the Lord gave her. "She was a one-man woman" and met the condition for service in the Kingdom as a deacon (servant).

I look forward to hearing your answer how she's excluding from service as a deacon based upon ("the husband of one wife") when the New Testament tells us she's not.

Steven (concerned pastor) said...

Wade,

You sir are twisting around making “one woman man” into something it’s not. I may not be as educated as you are but I assure you I DO know how to interpret scripture. Don’t get me wrong. I respect you. I do. But I disagree with you and thing you have a wrong interpretation of the scripture.

The New Testament clearly states that a woman should not be in a role over a man. Or to be the head of a man. How can I twist that around to mean something it’s not.

Paul may have contradicted himself a few times but honestly who hasn’t gotten it wrong at first and then realized their mistake?

I say that to say that as I read scripture k discover new hinge all the time. One day I may interpret that I have made a mistake. But until I do why should I change my view based on what you say?

Jeremy said...

Sallie, if new leadership comes into a church, and forbade women from teaching a mixed adult Sunday School class, they had better do a LOT of preparation for that. But let's step away from "what ifs" and make simple situations simple. If another church has a policy to not allow women to teach men, is THAT censurable on its face? Let's assume not for a moment. So then if a woman who HAD been teaching a mixed class somewhere else moved into THIS church, should the whole church change for the benefit of that woman? I would argue not. She doesn't have a spiritual gift to teach men, she has a spiritual gift of teaching. So she teaches kids or other women. In practice, it's very common that people who move churches find that they are suddenly much MORE or LESS actively involved in various church roles and positions.

Sarah, saying that the "complementarian counsel" consists of saying that the wife "cannot reprove or correct her husband" and "can't involve outsiders" is blatantly false and inflammatory. I DO agree that some churches (and organizations) advocate a certain kind of "chain of authority" that passes from wife to husband to church, but that kind of false teaching is SPECIFICALLY rejected by a large majority of denominations and churches that hold to a male-only elders/pastors.

The idea that a wife can't come directly to an elder/pastor for counselling or help without the permission of the husband is WAY on the fringes, to the extent that it has more in common with non-Christian cults than with the "complementarian position". Not only that, but I think you would also find it difficult to find HISTORICAL support for this position, without getting into some weird corners of church history.

Jeremy said...

Wade, in your deacon example you are taking a fairly clear injunction (deacons must be a one-woman man) and explaining it away with a noncontexual "aside" in scripture. Even the word "diakonon" is translated "servant" (that is, one who serves the church or the Lord) in the vast majority of uses in the New Testament, and there's certainly no scholarly consensus that this use refers to an official church role. And thinking about the culture of the 1st century, where men and women tended to be segregated more, it's extremely logical and likely that, since deacons were responsible for the material needs of their congregation, in some churches they found it necessary for women to be given authority to tend to the needs of other women (especially widows, for example).

One thing that BOTH sides of this argument tend to do is say that "*I* know how to interpret scripture". A little bit of research and historical context goes a long way, so that we're not just arguing over personal interpretations of scripture. That's why I TRY to refer to scholarly consensus, historical consensus, and cross-denominational positions. I'm not saying, "thus I am always right", but it helps the discussion to know about and refer to the wider debate on this issue.

pam said...

Ben Stratton said,

"As to Joanna Moore teaching pastors on Island #10, here are a few thoughts: 1) Were there any Southern Baptists in 1863 who believed women could preach or teach men in a church or seminary setting? 2) Did Joanna Moore get up in church and preach a sermon to these preachers or did she instruct them privately as Aquila and Priscilla did Apollos in Acts 18:24?"
--------------------

We'll get to your questions as soon as when you can tell us how many angels can dance on the head of a pin.

pam said...

"believing the Bible is God's Word and interpreting the Bible as God's Word"

Ben Stratton wrote, "What where do you draw the line at distinguishing between the two? For example Southern Baptists hold that believer's baptism by immersion is the only true baptism Is this merely an interpretation? Our Pedobaptist friends would say yes. Yet we as Baptists would declare we are simply believing what the Bible clearly teaches."
-----------------------

well, if only Baptists are right, heaven will be a lonely place, indeed.

pam said...

Anonymous on Thu Jun 14, 03:47:00 PM 2018

"I just lack the intellectual ability to handle every nuance of every presupposition and conclusion in every contextual permutation. It is not wrong for me to believe that I am right, but I should do so with the humility that I may not have arrived at all the correct conclusions."
--------------------

i appreciated your comment very much. loved how you worded it, and i think i hold the same perspective.

i relax my belief that i am right when it infringes on the dignity of others. when it results in cruelty to others. why hold on to being right when others have to suffer for it?

would you agree?

pam said...

Jeremy said,

"Grudem says that he often is asked "where to draw the line" when it comes to women's roles in the church. There are three lists, each covering an aspect of authority, and moving from greater to lesser authority. Grudem tries to give his reader tools to know how to "draw the line" in their own congregation, acknowledging that it's entirely appropriate for different churches to draw the line in a different place, considering the circumstances.

Now, even if you disagree with his assumption that there are biblical restrictions on women holding roles of authority, there still should be nothing surprising that such lists exist. You could imagine a similar set of lists for determining what falls under the purview of "deacon", "elder", and "pastor"."
----------------------------------

jeremy, you refer to women as if they're laboratory animals.

yes, i can imagine lists of job descriptions for actual job titles. no, i can't imagine lists of what women are allowed to do and not allowed to do because they are women. apparently you approve of such things.

Wallace H. Rowland Jr. said...



Can two agree on interpretation if they have different hermeneutics?

--Wallace

Christiane said...

Interpreting God's Word?
Some say it is easier to read the sacred Scriptures 'backwards', beginning with the Book of Revelation, which tells us Who is'worthy' to 'open' the sacred Scriptures for us.

From Revelation, Chapter 5

"4And I began to weep bitterly, because no one was found worthy to open the scroll or look inside it.
5Then one of the elders said to me,
“Do not weep!
Behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the root of David, has triumphed to open the scroll and its seven seals.”
6Then I saw a Lamb who appeared to have been slain,
standing in the center of the throne. . . .
7And He came and took the scroll from the right hand of the One seated on the throne. . .
8When He had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb.. . .
9And they sang a new song:
“Worthy are You to take the scroll and open its seals, because You were slain, and by Your blood You purchased for God those from every tribe and tongue and people and nation. . . "

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hDS9LYbe78k&list=RDhDS9LYbe78k&t=7





Jon L. Estes said...

There seems to be a continual mixing of the extreme (Dr. Patterson's view) with those, who I believe are the majority, do not take it that far.

The prohibition of women taking authority over men being a no go seems to be within the confines of two institutions... the local church and the home.

Your use of this mission story needs to be shown that Joanna P. Moore was doing this in the local church setting, as a Pastor and not just teaching men, who would listen (similar to how I see Beth Moores approach to men sitting under her - their doing, not hers).

I know you want to rid the church and the SBC of its position of spiritual authority in spiritual matters but to do so, if you are correct, we would have to stop electing people to be in a position of authority. We would have had to support the removal of the Trustees because they had no authority. We would have to stop voting at the annual convention because even the body at large has no authority to make such authoritative decisions. You would have to stop seeking such a position inthe convention because you have no authority to place yourself in a position of authority onthis or any subject.

1 Peter 5:5-6 shows us that young men were to place themselves under the authority of older men.

Again, I am approaching this on the foundation that... There seems to be a continual mixing of the extreme (Dr. Patterson's view) with those, who I believe are the majority, do not take it that far.

Jerry Schultz said...

Wade,

I was really disturbed to hear about seminary professors telling men to walk out of class if a female classmate interprets Scripture. That is a very nasty bullying tactic. Is this something that has happened at one Seminary, or more than one? Was this one professor, or multiple professors? How recently did this happen, or has it been going on for years? Obviously, even one professor doing this is sickening and for some reason it has a ring of familiarity to it. I'm just concerned and curious to know how widespread it is.

Christiane said...

"I was really disturbed to hear about seminary professors telling men to walk out of class if a female classmate interprets Scripture."

Yes.
. . . they would be walking out on their own heritage!
The Southern Baptists have a 'witness' whose very life and death reflected the teachings of Christ which are found in sacred Scripture. How do these 'men' who would preach Christ walk away from the profound witness of Lottie Moon? They seemed consumed by their own male pride, if they can not feel some humility in the memory of a woman who gave away her own food to her beloved Chinese and died weighing sixty pounds?

Preaching is profoundly more than words when it is raised to the level of 'witness' . . . witnesses 'proclaim' Christ by their very lives.

I feel sorry for these men.
They've lost perspective and are centered not on Him but on their own 'importance' as 'males'. Would that they had even a tiny fraction of the Christ-like humility of Lottie Moon who loved those to whom she ministered, more than life itself.

Jon L. Estes said...

Christiane,

I have no problem with a female teaching a seminary class as I see the not teaching and leading men to be done within the institution of home and church (pastor)

In dealing with your comments, do you know if Lottie Moon taught seminary or pastored a church? To use that as a scenario makes no sense to me.

When I was at Criswell, I had to take an English class with Mrs. Dr. Weatherly (brought in by Dr. P, who graded on a pass / fail scale). It was her decision to give the grade upon the conclusion she made if she thought we were ready for Greek.

I wonder if Lottie Moon thought what she was doing in pastoring a church or leading a home. I doubt it.

Samuel Conner said...

The practicalities of implementing Jesus' vision of spiritual leadership through extravagant self-giving service are daunting.

Christiane said...

Hi Jon Estes,

thanks for commenting in response to what I wrote

you wrote, this: "In dealing with your comments, do you know if Lottie Moon taught seminary or pastored a church? To use that as a scenario makes no sense to me."

I hope she STILL teaches seminarians by her example, Jon.

I know she's thought to be 'dead' in the way Southern Baptists may view that state, but I see her as a part of the living Body of Christ, that when someone passes 'away', they are still 'in Christ' and therefore close to us, the living members of the Body. In that sense, she is still a vibrant part of the Church and even if SBC seminarians don't honor her memory and witness formally, she IS recognized in the Anglican Liturgical Calendar in December for her work as a missionary to China.

Pastoring a Church? Caring for the 'sheep'? Formally?
If 'pastoring' is looking after the welfare of those under one's care, I'd say she did do this, and that she did not hold back on the selfless service she gave those she ministered to. No. Not a formal 'Southern Baptist' Church pastor. Not that. But something more than that: she served in China under famine conditions, and her people were starving, so she took her own food and fed her sheep. I'd say that was 'pastoring' yes. Our Lord commands His disciples to 'feed my sheep'. Lottie did that. Spiritually and physically. To her utmost effort, she did this, and she died likely of the effects of starvation because she fed her sheep.

Poor example?

I disagree. This little woman did what she was called to do by Our Lord. I have every wish that the seminarians shall take a good look at her self-giving witness for Christ and will learn from it.
As for 'her flock', they were cared for. She looked after them. Selflessly. I'd say that HER example of 'pastoral care' shines like the Sun.

Think about this, Jon. That Our Lord Himself said that a shepherd would lay down his life for the sheep. Isn't that what Lottie Moon did, in the only way she could see to help those starving people that she loved?

It's a lot to think about.

My kind reveres such people, as examples who reflect for us the brilliant light of Christ in how they lived and in how they died.

Jon L. Estes said...

Christians,

I would use the term Pastor as that of an office... official God given call/role. Not just a caretaker but an overseer. Not a dictator but servant leader. Responsible and accountable to God which demand a level of authority leadership.

The spirit of Lottie lives on, I have no problem with that. That is a different thing than being a Pastor... Overseer... Elder.

I still learn from many women but they are not my Pastor...

Jacque Truitt said...

Jerry Schultz asked a question regarding men walking out of seminary classes when a woman explained the meaning of scripture.

Jerry, i graduated from SWBTS in 1987. My first class was a Systematic theology class and when I walked in and sat down in the ckass the men in the seats around me got up and moved. When the professor came in they asked “what is a woman doing in this theology class?” My professor simply told them “studying the Bible just like you are”. The difference is in those days The professor defended and supported my being there politely, creatively, using it as a teaching moment. There were a couple of men in the class that got up and came and sat on either side of me and quietky to,d me to just hand on. That it would be alright that that we are not all like that!” Of ccourse, that was not the last time it happened or the only context. There were men that didnt speak to at mocked me in the hallway! I know what it feels like to be treated like a second class citizen by so called Godly men! By the grace of God I completed my degree and have served as a licensed clinician and as such have pastored and counseled many men and women over the last 30 years, I found a way to use my gifting along side my church in a private counseling practice. But I know what it has been like to feel the “stay in your place” message that exists in even what most would call the “normal” southern baptist church! My pastor when I graduated wanted to recommend ordination, but I told him NO becasue the church was not ready for that. I have always put the wellbeing of my church over myself so do not think I am a “rebell”. However if the culture had been different I had a much different ministry. I made my choices i. Such a way as to avoid conflict for myself and my family. I didnot want to risk my sons being bitter at “the church”. So I put what I would have lreferred on the back seat and asked God to show me a way to use my gifts. He honored my heart! However, We need to finally let the Bible say what it says and stop interpreting it through our tradition and preconveived mindsets.

I say all this to say yes, it happens, and has happened for a long time. It has however gottened much, much worse!

Wade Burleson said...

Jacque,

I've heard your personal story from many others - with one exception. The new generation of profs were those boys who sat beside you and asked "What is a woman doing in this theology class?"

Thanks for sharing.

I'll continue to push for the SBC to reflect God's Word in principle and practice, and His Kingdom is about giftings, not gender.

Wade Burleson said...

Watchdog,

Part of Al Mohler's answer was an "aw shucks" - "There's not a man in this room that hasn't been taught things by women in his life." (Chorus of "Amens") Then this... "But in our school of theology, there will not be a woman teaching men how to preach, how to exegete the Scriptures, and how to interpret the Bible. We are training preachers and pastors, and in order to train them you must be qualified to be one."

After I sat down, a young man - a student at Southern in the Ph.D. program - said, "I would ask a follow-up question? How does teaching a soon-to-be pastor Hebrew or Greek, Old Testament on New Testament, or Systematic Theology equate to "being qualified to be a pastor"?" I responded, "That's my point. The missionary Ms. Moore instructed male pastors in the Scriptures, taught them divine doctrine, and these pastors reformed their lives. Was she sinning?" Al Mohler never answered the questioned directly.

BECAUSE - the problem in the SBC is NOT men vs. women - the problem in the SBC is an unbiblical, illogical, and very dangerous view of "spiritual AUTHORITY" invested in all men, and ESPECIALLY in "the office of pastor" - and the New Testament NOWHERE speaks of "OFFICE of pastor."

Pastor (shepherd) is a verb of service, not a noun of status.

Deacon means "servant" yet Baptists have created an "office of deacon" and we have "deaconess" Phoebe. Pastor ALSO means servant - and the same qualifications in the New Testament are for pastors as they are for decaons - and Baptists again - in similarity to Landmarkers and Roman Catholics - have created an OFFICE of pastor - BUT...

Southern Baptists - particularly our Reformed brothers - think the OFFICE OF PASTOR (a figment of their imagination) is SUPER holy, SUPER authoritative, and SUPER "do-not-question-God's-anointed" -...

And thus, we have a really bad problem with authoritarianism in the SBC.

And ... I....am....chipping....away....at....it.

:)

Wade Burleson said...

"The spirit of Lottie lives on, I have no problem with that. That is a different thing than being a Pastor... Overseer... Elder.

I still learn from many women but they are not my Pastor..."

John, this is where you and I part ways.

"The Spirit of Lottie lives on... But being a PASTOR is a different THING."

How? Servants heart? No. Shepherding spirit? No. Gifted encouragement? No. Humble character? No.

Again, how is "being a pastor a different thing?"

Answer: In your mind, the "office of pastor" is given some type of mystical 'authority' (spiritual authority) from heaven - and the spirit of Lottie doesn't have that 'authority.'

To you, a Pastor is a "noun of status" not a "verb of service" (like it is for me).

To you, a Pastor is an 'overseer' with the authority to control and correct not an 'overseer' with the assignment to encourage and empower (like it is for me).

To you, a Pastor is an 'elder' with an office for males of spiritual authority and not an 'elder' (simply "older" person regardless of gender) who has age and wisdom (like it means for me).

We just simply disagree. No big deal. You are Southern Baptist. So am I. We cooperate for the purpose of missions.

Anonymous said...

Pam said:"i relax my belief that i am right when it infringes on the dignity of others. when it results in cruelty to others. why hold on to being right when others have to suffer for it?

would you agree?" in response to an earlier post of mine.

Absolutely, I agree.

I made a decision years ago that when in doubt between law and mercy, to choose mercy. That is not exactly the same thing as what you are saying but I think it comes from the same spirit.

Anonymous said...

Wade said "And thus, we have a really bad problem with authoritarianism in the SBC."

Ironically, Bart Barber's statement about Paige Patterson revealed that Patterson, as big a proponent of authoritarianism as there is, did not respect their authority.

Wade Burleson said...

Anonymous,

Trustees have LEGAL authority.

Paige Patterson considers himself to have SPIRITUAL authority.

In the bizarre world of PASTORS having SPIRITUAL authority, LEGAL authority is inferior.

"Don't take it to the courts, to judges, to police - we who have SPIRITUAL authority are the arbitrators of justice."

So... you are correct about Patterson not recognizing the trustee's LEGAL authority. He didn't need to recognize it. He's got BIGGER authority from God.

Anonymous said...

Wade, I didn't understand the Legal vs. Spiritual authority dichotomy. Interesting distinction, but I don't think it is valid.

Wade Burleson said...

Anonymous,

There is no spiritual authority invested in men or women. Christ has it all.

There is legal authority invested in both men and women.

I hope you understand the distinction because you are obligated by LAW to submit to legal authority.

Jon L. Estes said...

Wade,

It’s Jon, not John. I find it interesting that you want to tell me what terms I would is for Pastor, Overseer and Elder.

Doing so makes the point you want to make but I see a huge difference in Pastor as a status and a Pastor as a calling. I go with the latter. Again, I understand you want to make a point but, sorry it doesn’t fly because you understand me not.

Let me repeat... There seems to be a continual mixing of the extreme (Dr. Patterson's view) with those, who I believe are the majority, do not take it that far.

You do this well, though it fails.

Wade Burleson said...

Sorry Jon.

Wad

:)

Julie R. Neidlinger said...

Debbie K: Grudem has no say where the line is drawn on women's roles. None.

Thank you. I'm not, and never have been, a part of the SBC. I'm one of those much loathed Pentecostals. I grew up seeing women preach/teach. It actually shocked me, once I started blogging 20 years ago, to see how much energy is spent on making sure women are lessened in how they use the gifts the Holy Spirit has given them. I wrote more about this here: https://julieneidlinger.blogspot.com/2018/05/breaking-free-from-beth-moore-and-women.html

Still, every time I see this massive level of "person X and then person X, and finally the top guy, person X, are all in authority over you and you will be subject to them and obey" I am still shocked. And, happily, I am increasingly aware and thankful for what Jesus and the New Covenant meant. What a miracle, what freedom to serve Him!

I can't say I'd ever be a part of an SBC church, after seeing what I've seen. I've done many Lifeway Bible studies, but as I noted in that post, it is odd to read a study written by a woman assuming only women are going to be doing it (e.g. constant use of "girlfriend" and "girl" and "sisters" as conversational writing to the reader). I've had some respond to me about that blog post and say most rank and file SBC folks aren't like this, regarding women, but Wade is the rare pastor/leader I've seen publicly speak about it, and while it's possible most of the rank and file SBC aren't this way in their beliefs, the vocal online version often seem to be. As I alluded to in that blog post, after two decades of blogging, I've seen more energy expended over two things: the role of women, and Calvinist ideology. Not the Gospel, not salvation, not holiness -- women and Calvinism. I've never had worse nasty attacks than those "Christian" men who have emailed me over the years ripping into me because I was a woman.

The enemy must be clapping his hands in glee. What a win: distract them with tulips and who has what authority in the church.

Wade Burleson said...

Julie,

An interesting observation I've never noticed:

"It is odd to read a study written by a woman assuming only women are going to be doing it (e.g. the constant use of "girlfriend" and "girl" and "sisters" as conversational writing to the reader)."

I hope Beth Moore reads your comment.

:)

LizBeth said...

Sallie, the Grudem lists are scary. Legalism.
------------------------------------------------------

I graduated from SWBTS at the very start of the take-over. No one was ever demeaning or rude to me then. After thirty-five years in the ministry (first in singles ministry and later as a pastor's wife), I've decided that the biggest reason we have so many problems is that we have made something out of church that it was never intended to be. We have created problems that need never be if we had held to the New Testament pattern. I know that flies in the face of what Southern Baptists believe, but there it is.

Study the Bible. Study church history. Find out what a church was like before Constantine interfered. I have tried so hard to be a good girl in the SBC, but it has been a disaster. Sick of church fights and denominational fights. I want out.

Christians belong in local groups who know one another face to face, genuine communities of faith. Small enough to know each other by name and build trust. Work out our problems with open Bibles. A FAMILY, not an organization. Maturing in love and faith. Families don't have meetings, they have suppers together. Celebrations. Reunions. But not meetings and constitutions.

There is no way to fix what we have. It will only get worse. I can remember when Southern Baptists referred to themselves as an affiliation of churches. They were insulted if anyone referred to the SBC as a denomination. And now???? An insightful man told me years ago that Baptists are becoming more like Catholics every day. I thought it was an odd thing to say then, but I see now what he meant.

Wade Burleson said...

LizBeth,

I get it.

I understand.

However... the change I've seen in the SBC since 2003 is remarkable. Change for the good. Try not - if possible - to give up yet.

:)

Jeremy said...

Wade, your stance that there is no "spiritual authority" seems to be highly idiosyncratic. But perhaps I'm misunderstanding you. How would you understand passages like those in Hebrews 13 where it says, "Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they are keeping watch over your souls, as those who will have to give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with groaning, for that would be of no advantage to you."

Jacque Truitt said...

Sorry for the typos in that last post! It was early! LoL

Wade Burleson said...

Jeremy, Google Wade Burleson and Hebrews 13 and then click on VIDEOS - I give a detailed explanation.

Jeremy said...

Wade, help me out here. You drew a distinction between spiritual authority and legal authority, but then you said that spiritual authority is necessarily greater than legal authority? That's a kind of straw man argument, I think. Historically there has always been a strong distinction between the "city of God" and the "city of Man", between spiritual and civil authorities. For either authority to override the other has long been considered a distorted view.

It sort of sounds like you're saying, "spiritual authority can be abused, therefore there should be NO spiritual authority". Which is a strange argument.

Ben Stratton said...

In response to my questions below:

"As to Joanna Moore teaching pastors on Island #10, here are a few thoughts: 1) Were there any Southern Baptists in 1863 who believed women could preach or teach men in a church or seminary setting? 2) Did Joanna Moore get up in church and preach a sermon to these preachers or did she instruct them privately as Aquila and Priscilla did Apollos in Acts 18:24?"

"Pam" wrote: "We'll get to your questions as soon as when you can tell us how many angels can dance on the head of a pin."

Since you are avoiding the questions, I will answer them myself:

1. No Southern Baptists in 1863 believed women should preach or teach men in churches or seminaries.
2. This nullifies Wade's historical example of Joanna Moore. If she was preaching to men, there would have been an uproar among Baptists. There was none. She seems to have been correcting pastors privately in the way of Acts 18:24

"Pam" also wrote, "well, if only Baptists are right, heaven will be a lonely place, indeed."

I was talking about believer's immersion. If you don't believe Baptists are right about that then you need to join some pedobaptist denomination like the Methodists. However nobody believes that our correct understanding of baptism is what takes us to heaven. Your response is totally misguided.

Wade Burleson said...

Jeremy,

You have obviously not read much of what I've written.

You write: "You drew a distinction between spiritual authority and legal authority, but then you said that spiritual authority is necessarily greater than legal authority?"

No sir. You completely, 100%, positively misunderstand.

Southern Baptist who wrongly believe that PASTORS have "spiritual authority" say that their authority trumps legal authority.

It's why you don't report a rape to law enforcement (says some) but lead the victim to "forgive" her attacker and "reconcile" both abuser and victim spiritually.

(Hold my nose).

I call the notion of "spiritual authority" what it really is - "fraudulent authority."

Anonymous said...

Just saw your tweet on Lottie's diaries. I can remember one of the young bucks in New Testament survey asking Curtis Vaughn about women preaching. He stared up at the ceiling and said, "Well, Lottie Moon preached in China, and Southern Baptists have made an idol of her." Of course, we let her starve to death, too.

Wade Burleson said...

Ben,

If she was preaching to men, there would have been an uproar among Baptists. There was none. She seems to have been correcting pastors privately in the way of Acts 18:24.

Really?

"Preach" is the Greek word which means "to proclaim" and comes from the sound of a rooster "proclaiming the rising of the sun." Ms. Moore was "proclaiming the Son" and was "preaching to pastors." Period.

Ben Stratton said...

Wade,

I guess it depends on how you define "preaching." I don't think many people would say "Jonna P. Moore read to them the Word of God on the subject thus leading to their reformation" is preaching. If that's preaching, then Priscilla preached in Acts 18:24. It seems much more like private instruction than public proclamation to me.

Liesel Polwort said...

Wade,

I want to say thanks to you. In following your blog & studying the references you present, I feel confident and validated in how I was raised and how I approach life and relationships. Upon reflection and exposure to much more strict interpretations of Complementarianism, I find that I am disturbed.

I am 35, single, never married. I am a civil engineer with a supervisory role. I am a project manager. I lead meetings and represent my company to our clients. I responsibly seal design plans that go out for construction. Engineering is a male dominated field - I work in an office of over 70 and I am one of three female engineers.

While I have never been harassed or abused, my worst “I am a Woman” moment was the result of a statement made by a brother in Christ. A fellow conservative, evangelical Christian. I felt the weight of the Fall on my shoulders. I felt like a harlot, that he must protect himself from exposure to me, a single woman on the job site. Jesus never shied away from women or “protected himself from exposure,” He treated them with dignity and love, even when shunned by their community.

My background was necessary to get to my point. The BF&M along with other statements expressing Complementarian views are very careful to state that it applies to home and church only. Here’s the rub:

How is that possible? How does it not subtly enter every aspect of your life? How do women raised in this environment feel empowered to have a job and role such as mine? How do men raised in this environment not unconsciously dismiss ideas from women, accidentally insult / demean women (as I was), or pass over women in hiring or promotions?

How am I worthy of doing my job - of teaching, mentoring, & supervising men - and yet somehow, if I was married, I would be called to submission instead of mutual respect & service to each other? God has blessed me with intellect, yet if I had been called, I would somehow be unworthy of learning to interpret and apply scripture & express my findings to men?

This has rocked my world. This has saddened me. I understand now where the demeaning statement came from when spoken by my brother in Christ. I understand why so many Christian women feel pressured to seek marriage and children as the penultimate act of their lives. I understand why smart, intelligent girls choose not to pursue academic achievement.

I praise God I was raised at Emmanuel. That I had an outspoken, independent mother that was devoted to her husband, a woman that persevered the challenges before her until 6 years ago when she was finally healed in the presence of God. That I have a father that practiced service to his wife in ways unimaginable to most people. That I was taught and raised knowing my worth and value as a woman & a treasured daughter of Christ.

Thank you for being part of that.

Liesel

Sallie Borrink said...

Ben said:

I guess it depends on how you define "preaching." I don't think many people would say "Jonna P. Moore read to them the Word of God on the subject thus leading to their reformation" is preaching. If that's preaching, then Priscilla preached in Acts 18:24. It seems much more like private instruction than public proclamation to me.

-----------------------

So Pricilla could instruct a man in private but if she stood up and said the exact same thing in the gathering of the believers, it would be wrong?

This is why we end up with arbitrary men like Grudem saying that teaching a Sunday School class of college students (#11) is exercising "less authority" than a SS class of adult men and women (#8). By what measure? So a godly woman can instruct a 22 year old male college student but as soon as he walks the stage and gets his diploma and enters the "adult" SS class, she can magically no longer teach him without exercising "inappropriate authority" over him? What about the 19 year old male who skips college and goes right into the adult SS class? Can she teach him? He's still "college aged" after all.

Or a woman teaching a Bible study of men and women comes in at #9 but speaking up in a Bible study is only a lowly #27. Guess what? I've heard women NOT leading a Bible study contribute far more of value to the overall worth of the group by simply adding insights to the discussion than the male leader who was leading due to the fact that he was male.

The same thing goes for SS classes I've sat through that were led by poorly qualified men who were allowed to teach because they had the right chromosome combination, but gifted and experienced women in the class were not allowed to teach. They couldn't even contribute too much for fear of being seeing as taking over or usurping the leader's "authority" in the class.

This IS nutty.



Samuel Conner said...

Re: And ... I....am....chipping....away....at....it.

I am reminded of the story of the bird that wore away a mountain of diamond by sharpening its beak on it.

Jon E. raises the valid question of how will churches and other church-related institutions function if we reconfigure them in an attempt to live according to Jesus' commands.

There will need to be a big re-think. But individuals can get the ball rolling by aspiring to, and then striving to, live in ways that resemble Jesus' self-giving; living the life of the Age to Come within the present age.

Wade Burleson said...

Liesel,

Your comment was a proud moment for me. Thanks!

Jeremy said...

Wade, seriously, what leaders are saying that rape shouldn't be reported? I still don't understand how you're connecting the words "spiritual authority" with "pastors can override the requirements of civil law". Your beef is with the SBC, but other churches use the term all the time, referring to the responsibility of a church to not only preach the Gospel, but also "make disciples" and rebuke churchmembers who are acting sinfully.

And besides that, in your articles you admit that there is an authority "in function", just not authority "over", and thus the discussion about women having authority over a man is "irrelevant". So I guess "spiritual authority" is, by your definition, "authority over"?

I'm just trying to understand your position. Is there some other expositor of this idea, or is this something just you have come up with?

Wade Burleson said...

Jeremy,

In 2003 PP told Megan Lively that she should not report her rape to legal authorities and she should forgive her rapist. The rationale is consistent with his theology that the "spiritual authority" of male pastors is the highest authority and supersedes all other authority.

And, yes, there are other conservative biblical expositors who believe that every believer is "a priest unto God" and not just male pastors, and that all spiritual authority is in Jesus Christ and He builds His Kingdom by dispensing gifts to His servants (Christians) who serve others first, are humble about themselves, and simply follow the Spirit to teach, lead, exhort, encourage, and anything else they are gifted by the Spirit to do in Kingdom work.

Google it.

Jeremy said...

Wade, do you have some evidence that PP (or others) have a theology wherein the spiritual authority of the pastor supersedes all other authority? Again, sort of a straw man argument, that "spiritual authority" is synonymous with "supercedes all other authority".

As an aside, I actually agree with you obliquely on a couple of points. I think that the Baptist form of church government often DOES result in pastors with an inordinate amount of authority, and it can often be hard to rebuke or remove pastors that abuse their power. It's one of the reasons I am a member of a Presbyterian congregation (which denomination obviously has OTHER issues, but on this particular point I think it's a strength). Moreover, I think it's often overlooked that most of the Epistles are to a particular congregation in a city... NOT simply to the LEADERS of that congregation. Paul does not operate under some "chain of command", where it is expected that messages to a church must pass through church elders/pastors. This freedom of Christians to encourage AND REBUKE one another should not be lost.

As to your point, most Protestants, including the SBC, hold to the priesthood of all believers, so I'm not sure why you're implying that the SBC does NOT hold that doctrine. I think your focus on the term "spiritual authority" is a bit strange, but as long as church leaders still have the right to, for example, excommunicate churchmembers for flagrant sin, and as long as church leaders feel responsible for the spiritual maturity of the congregation, as "those will have to give an account", then I'll certainly stand with you in condemning any attempt of a church leader to place extra legalistic burdens on a church, or to discourage the reporting of crimes such as rape and abuse.

Wade Burleson said...

Jeremy,

Read the entire article for the answer to your last question.

If you have any further questions use the search engine on this blog, Google your question, and every answer you desire will come up in the form of multiple posts written over the last dozen years

Samuel Conner said...

IIRC, what has come out about how M Lively was counseled after being assaulted by a student at SEBTS was that she was advised to keep the matter within the church. The reasons for this have not, AFAIK, been stated but it is not hard to surmise that 1 Cor 6 might have been in view (along with the natural desire to not bring disrepute on the name of Jesus). As I see it, the matters that Paul advised be adjudicated within the church rather than dealt with before secular courts seem to be related to what we could call "tort law" or "civil cases." Paul did not advise the church at Corinth to conceal instances of believer violation of Roman law. He certainly would not have regarded sexual assault to be a "trivial matter."

But if it is the case that all crimes should be resolved within the church, including those in which the secular authorities have jurisdiction, that would definitely appear to elevate the authority of the local church court, or whatever corresponds to that in baptist churches, above secular authority.

pam said...

i had said, ""i relax my belief that i am right when it infringes on the dignity of others. when it results in cruelty to others. why hold on to being right when others have to suffer for it?"

i'll clarify and say i no longer consider myself right when these things are the result. in fact, i am embarrassed and disgusted with myself for not having realized how others are impacted.

Jeremy said...

Samuel, the situation in 1 Cor 6 is clearly not anything MORALLY serious, or else Paul's whole point wouldn't make much sense. He says that there should be people in the church wise enough to "settle a dispute between the brethren", and that people should be willing to be "defrauded". The implication is pretty clear that these are NOT matters of life and death, but rather contractual and financial disputes. The term "defrauded" almost certainly has a monetary context here. And there's certainly not a historic precedence for local churches adjudicating serious violations of civil law.

So even if a church wanted to "keep the matter within the church", which is a dangerous proposition under any circumstance, I doubt that 1 Cor 6 would sway people who thought that this was a bad idea. It's just too flimsy.

pam said...

Ben Stratton, my point was to draw attention to the fact that the object of the SBC exercise is rules, rules, and more rules. and how silly and ultimately devoid of meaning and significance it is.

paedobaptism and egalitarianism are made out to be sin issues. I have articles from Mark Dever and John Piper, which weave a message that one's salvation is suspect for holding different beliefs and practice. so much tribalism, so much us versus them. so much in-group versus out-group. The God card is played in each case, which is no subtle message that we are right, you are wrong, with eternal consequences.

i think "baptist heaven will be a lonely place" is a fair statement.

and it's all so silly, such a waste of time, energy, and resources. much of which comes from donations given sacrificially.



Samuel Conner said...

Jeremy,

Agreed, but the motive for keeping "tort law" cases within the church, to avoid airing in the sight of unbelievers, and potentially damaging the witness of the church, disputes between christians, does seem to have been in view in the M Lively case. And in that sense, I think that it is a rational surmise that 1 Cor 6 could have been in the background, if not as a command, at least as an example of the kinds of considerations that christians should keep in mind when deciding whether to take a matter to the civil authorities.

I would think that it is the judgment of charity to concede that PP thought he was doing the right thing in not informing the secular authorities. But that seems to me to confirm Wade's point.

Christiane said...


Hello Pam,
I appreciate your comment, this:

"i relax my belief that i am right when it infringes on the dignity of others. when it results in cruelty to others. why hold on to being right when others have to suffer for it?"

I have long thought that interpretations of sacred Scripture which dismissed the teachings of Christ and THEN inflicted suffering on innocent people were 'mis-guided';
but lately I have decided that:

IF such interpretations of Scripture WILLINGLY removed Our Lord's teachings as priority, and, as a result, WILLFULLY inflicted suffering on innocent people;
THEN the perpetrator who mis-used Scripture in this way might also be guilty of speaking against the Holy Spirit.

I suspect the ONLY judge of this could be Our Lord Who sees and knows the hearts of men and their intent. But the hurting of innocent people is not, nor ever could be, a Christian act.



Bob Cleveland said...

Jeremy and Samuel: 1 Corinthians 6, specifically verse 2, asks the rhetorical question: "And if you are to judge the world, are you not competent to judge trivial cases?"

That seems to be be subject ... the handling of "trivial matters" ... which suppressing information and reporting of a rape definitely is not. In fact, I believe most states have made it a crime not to report such.

Alabama law requires that even suspicion of abuse must be reported to the authorities.

BIG difference.

Doug Burleson said...

Liesel: many years ago I helped you buy your first house! Over my 9 year real estate career, I helped a number of single woman buy their first house. At no point did it ever cross my mind that any of those career minded, goal-oriented, skilled, equipped women could not or should not pursue whatever they wanted in life!

I think my very successful 3 sisters helped me realize as a boy, a young man and an adult that women are capable and blessed by God to accomplish anything they want! And I hope I’ve instilled that in my 3 daughters and I certainly believe that about my wife, Amy.

The greatest degree of spiritual growth in my life occurred when I attended Mid America Christian University and joined Crossings Comminuty Church (both part of the Church of God Anderson,IN) after being a life long Southern Baptist.

For the first time in my life, I saw women and African-Americans in leadership and as Pastors. It revolutionized my understanding of Jesus!

You are extremely gifted, successful and talented! Thanks for sharing your story. Please know that there are conservative Christian men who see you (and all women) as EQUAL!

Bridget said...

"1. No Southern Baptists in 1863 believed women should preach or teach men in churches or seminaries."

Was this because women had no rights in 1863 America and were not allowed to vote as a Southern Baptist as they were not allowed to vote as Americans either?

Jeremy said...

Doug, I feel like it's incumbent for me to say: there are also Christian men who reserve church leadership for men only, but who nevertheless attest that women are equal to men. Only in these recent days, where leadership equates to power and power equates to personal worth, would the exclusion of women from church leadership roles leads to the conclusion that women are "less" or "inferior". It's ironic that this debate often feeds into the nonscriptural assumption that pastors/elders are more "worthwhile" or have more "important" roles in the church.

I do not want to be in the position of condemning hundreds or even thousands of years of Christian churches, because we in the past 50 years think we have finally "figured it out".

Sallie Borrink said...

Women have been preaching for far longer than the past 50 years. To equate this to the feminist movement of the late twentieth century glosses over many gifted women in different denominations who were used by God in significant ways.

https://godswordtowomen.org/richardriss.htm

RB Kuter said...

I don't get it, Wade. You had the opportunity of having a forum to make a proposal or to say something profound that might somehow make a difference in the way things are done in the Southern Baptist Convention, and that was your statement? Seems you used the opportunity to give this long account of a situation that is not very relevant to anything. It did get some chuckles due to the absurdity of its application to the argument of women being involved in ministry. It was no doubt made humorous because of the extremities of the circumstances embedded in the story being compared to any instances of real discrimination occurring today in the SBC. Beyond that, I wonder what were the intentions/motives in presenting it?

But that seemed to be typical of the tone of the entire 2018 Southern Baptist Convention. Basically, we see no change or movement toward anything being done differently.

There was some noise made regarding women's rights. Everyone agreed that women should not be expected to remain in abusive marital environments. There was talk about their value and how they deserve to be shown respect. But it all appears to simply be a means to appease the stress caused by today's "me too" winds blowing in our society.

Regarding the cronyism and corruption in our system that has been exposed of late, there was the grandstanding talk about Trustees having a change of heart who have been serving while enchanted with their now fallen cult leader. But they all continue to serve.

The same system of "good ol' boys" in control of the SBC is still in place and running on all cylinders. Their man for President was, of course, put in position and they will maintain the selection of all subsequent Presidents. The void left by the former leader is in the process of being filled as Mohler and others jockey for that control. They, in turn, will choose the Presidents, hence, the future Trustees, hence, direct all SBC institutions that will implement their political strategy that is consistent with "their" ideology and their next agenda.

To me, it all seems so disingenuous, insincere, and void of substance. I do believe that God will continue to bless and work in those individual Southern Baptist churches who are humbled by His power, sovereignty, and majesty. Those will have the joy of being involved in producing "Kingdom" fruit as they are anointed by the power of God's Holy Spirit due to their submission to His Lordship over their hearts and intentions. But as for the collective, institutionalized activities of the Southern Baptist "Convention, I have little optimism.

Anonymous said...

Wade,

Several links on your wadeburleson.com page are not working. Has been about a week now. Just thought you may like to know.

Christiane said...

It may be premature, but I am hopeful that WOMEN in the Church will lead the way for halting children being forcefully separated from their mothers at border crossings. I don't think this is just a 'political' issue, no. It's definitely a moral one for anyone who has mothered a child. To have someone take a child from a mother forcefully, by telling the child that the mother is going 'off to the showers', and then the mother doesn't return and the child is ware-housed with other children who have been taken . . . there is something VERY wrong about this. Currently this is occurring at the rate of almost fifty children per day.

I think this is one issue where the women of the Church CAN make a difference, particularly the mothers. I hope to see this happen, as we have done many things as a country, but never anything like this, which seems so wrong, and so very un-American. This is not who we are.

Those children don't deserve this, no. They must be distraught and terrified.

RB Kuter said...

Christianne, you are so RIGHT! It must stop!

An impenetrable wall along the entire length of our southern border with Mexico, fortified, controlled, heavily guarded entry points as the only possible point where legal entry can be made into our country would almost TOTALLY eliminate the problem of babies being torn from the arms of their Moms who were trying to enter the US illegally. That would be the most humane and practical method of resolving this terrible atrocity.

We are still experiencing the consequences of the "open border" strategy implemented by our Washington politicians cheered on by their humanist activist constituents who call for putting band-aids on the uncontrolled surge of intruders from Central/South America and who knows where else. Pretty amazing.

Christiane, maybe you could establish a Fund to be used to collect contributions toward building "The Humanitarian Wall on our Border"! I will contribute for sure!

Samuel Conner said...

Bob C,

I hear you loud and clear and I fully agree.

What I have been trying to say, and perhaps failing to say clearly, is that:

The "protection of the reputation of Christ" considerations that appear to be in view in Paul's 1 Cor 6 counsel to adjudicate minor disputes within the church rather than bringing suit in secular courts can be, and have been, used as justification for concealing more serious matters from the attention of the secular authorities. (Other motives are also possible, of course, such as protection of institutions and institutional officers)

The logic of this (IMO improper) application of Paul's counsel looks something like this:

If it brings the name of Christ into disrepute, and hinders the witness of the church, to expose to the view of unbelievers the inability of Christians to get along with each other in trivial matters,

Then ..

How much more disrepute and hindrance of witness would be caused by exposing to the view of unbelievers the inability of Christians to behave toward one another in ways that express the kinds of simple human decency that are normal for even unbelievers?

---

It seems to me that this logic has been used by church leaders to conceal matters that should have been brought to the attention of the civil authorities. Granting the judgment of charity that they sincerely believed they were doing the right thing Coram Deo in such cases, this clearly implies that they believed that the decision of whether or not to involve those extra-ecclesial authorities was theirs to make.

IOW, they reckoned that their own authority, from God, in the situation superseded that of the authority that God has granted the secular authorities.

And this is precisely the point that Wade makes in his post. There may not be a formally articulated statement in any systemic theology textbook that the God-given authority of church officers supersedes the God-given authority of secular authorities, but the functional theology that is implied by the behavior of some of these people does appear to contain precisely that concept.

Liesel Polwort said...

Thank you, Doug! I loved that little house & I appreciated your help.

I go to Henderson Hills & while no women preach, women do teach and lead Sunday School classes for mixed gender groups (I have been one of those). I honestly never realized the extent of strict complementarianism until I started reading up on the subject due to the recent controversies. It really opened my eyes and helped me understand what is behind some statements I’ve heard from friends in the past.

I respect and understand the draw to husband and family, but I respect it most when it is a choice and not forced by social pressure. My worldly heart certainly expected those things to be part of my life, but the freedom I have is that I am not devastated or harmed that it has not been part of God’s plan for me (yet?). I never questioned my abilities & have a wonderful job.

Imagine life for a single, never married woman in churches that practice strict complementarianism. There is virtually no role for them. I shudder.

Liesel

Liesel Polwort said...

Thank you.

I am proud reading your blog. I am so proud that I can claim you as one of my pastors. A new lead pastor was just voted in at HHBC where I attend in Edmond. Your blog prompted me to ask him to speak to these issues. So I stood up at our church family meeting and had him speak to women’s roles and abuse in front of the church body. I am content with his answer & he gained my vote. Admittedly, I went to Oklahoma State (Go Pokes!) with his wife & while they have three young children, she is still a practicing civil engineer - so basically I was confident in his answer!

Liesel

Jeremy said...

Liesel, I'm curious about your definition of "strict complementarianism". I attend a church in a denomination that does not allow women to be elders/pastors (which I whole-heartedly agree with). But women can do nearly any other role in the church, including non-adult Sunday School. To be clear, mine is NOT a SBC church, so perhaps there are excesses that I'm not familiar with, but it seems extreme to say that single women would have "no role" in a church.

Wallace H. Rowland Jr. said...

Dear Julie R. Neidlinger

Not all Southern Baptists loath Pentecostals. I don’t.

Not all Southern Baptists loath Roman Catholics. I don’t.

Some Southern Baptists don’t even loath themselves. Sometimes . . . I don’t.

Love

--Wallace

May the ‘Word of God’ hermeneutic the Scriptures to us!

Christiane said...

Hello RB Kutter,

I can't support your agenda, but thank you for responding.

I don't believe in holding infants, toddlers, and young children hostage from their parents as a bargaining chip for Trump's 'Wall'.
That even ONE of those little children has its heart broken is an immoral action on the part of the administration who ordered this evil.

Do you have any idea of the damage done to the children psychologically? They will carry this burden for the rest of their lives as a wound that cannot be healed. The younger ones will suffer more.

Is there ANY agenda worth hurting children? That a Christian person could support with a clear conscience? I would say no. So we disagree. And I don't believe too many SBC folks stand with you in accepting the current evil. I'm almost certain that Southern Baptist mothers are appalled by what is happening to those little ones. Only bullies hurt little children.

RB Kuter said...

"Do you have any idea of the damage done to the children psychologically?"

I stand amazed. Unscrupulous parents use their infants as fodder to gain illegal entry into the country and rather than considering how to remedy the situation by eliminating the sources so many "humanists" activists insist on keeping the flow open and complaining because the US government is resisting being held hostage to the wickedness. What amazing rationale.

By the way, it is not "Trump's Wall. It is my wall and the wall of every law-abiding citizen seeking to protect our land from terrorists, drug cartels and "illegal" transients.

everette said...

Most of these people are seeking asylum--i.e., they are claiming that they face severe threats to their life or liberty if they return to their home country.

Under US law, it is legal to seek asylum at the border. If you ask for asylum, you will be permitted to stay temporarily in the US until your asylum hearing. At the hearing, you must demonstrate either that you are under severe threat in your home country, or that you are a member of a political or religious group that is favored by US law (e.g., Christians in Iran or Darfuris from Sudan).

If and when you fail to provide proof of your eligibility for asylum are you then considered an undocumented immigrant and subject to deportation. But until then, you have a right to remain in the US.

The President has violated US law by forbidding border patrol agents from accepting pleas of asylum. This is why many people have chosen to try to sneak into the US so that they can seek asylum from a federal judge or other official.

This is their right.

Do you think President Trump, having broken the law, should be fired from his job and sent back to Germany or Slovenia (where he can claim citizenship due to his wife's ancestry)? Do you think that his young son should be put out for foster care?

If not, then why are you so quick to seek such punishment for victims of political, religious, and domestic violence?

RB Kuter said...

Right, Everette. Send that guy packin'! Your profound common sense and logic make all the sense in the world to me! I guess our nation is not totally lost after all.

RB Kuter said...

Sorry, gang. God forgive me for ever getting into a political conversation on Wade's blog.

Liesel Polwort said...

I shouldn’t have stated an absolute. “No role” is too harsh. Perhaps I should have said no role that I would feel comfortable in or perhaps that single women in those churches must have virtually no voice. When I said “strict complementarianism” I was referring to some of the comments & descriptions I have read where women’s roles are restricted seemingly only to food service & childcare, and where even comments or insight during mixed group bible study are limited. Without a husband, single women in that setting would not have a way to speak to any issue. My current church does allow women to teach / lead mixed adult Sunday school, but the elder council & pastors are restricted to men.

Hope that helps / clarifies. I’m out - I’m not up for the sorts of debates that get going on here. I’m going back to silent observation.

:)

Liesel

Christiane said...

Hello RB Kutter,
I'd say this 'issue' IS a deeply moral one. And the Church knows this very well.

It might be ONE WAY the evangelical community can renew its witness by taking a stand against something so evil that it is exactly one of the horrors written about in the Handmaid's Tale:

in that distopian novel, the children of the future 'handmaids' were forcefully taken away from them, and the mothers were not able to find out where their children were or if they were all right . . . unless someone very powerful helped them to find out that information.

Trumpworld is now become 'life imitating art'.



Jeremy said...

Liesel, no debate here. The church I attend does not allow women to teach/lead a mixed adult Sunday school, but otherwise the women (lead by the WIC, or Women In the Church) have a pretty wide and active role in the church. The deacons will sometimes consult with them, and ask them to get bids on recommended improvements, for example. Furthermore, the idea that a women would be discouraged (even informally) from speaking up in a Bible study is, frankly, shocking to me.

You mentioned "childcare". How does that work? In our church, different families will cycle into the nursery every month. Depending on the number and ages of their kids, sometimes the "dad" will not be in the nursery, but many times it's the other way around. Are you saying that it's common to have only women in the nursery? It seems even stranger to suggest that this is a place for UNMARRIED women to serve the church. If such a one volunteered, sure, but I know for a fact we prioritize the families with kids to, logically enough, help watch the kids in the nursery.

Obviously I support the position of my church with regards to male-only church leadership, and I even support the idea that husbands should lead a household, but tangled up with this idea is another that I think is absolute poison: that husbands/fathers speak or act in the church ON BEHALF OF THEIR FAMILY, especially wives. That somehow a church is made up of families (led by men), not that the church IS the family, and overrides the biological family if necessary. Have you heard of that trend where the husband takes the elements of the Lord's Supper, and passes them out to his wife and kids? Deeply, deeply problematic.

I heard a good speaker say, "The biological family as husband, wife, and kids is an finite relationship. In heaven 'there is no marriage or giving in marriage', and your kids belong to the Lord. But your relationships with your brothers and sisters in Christ, here in this particular congregation, are ETERNAL. Being a 'good husband' or 'good wife' is certainly important and scriptural, but it is NOT as important as encouraging and correcting in the Lord, and being encouraged and corrected in the Lord, in this local congregation of believers." Practically, it means that husbands have absolutely NO right to come between his wife and a church leader, whether it's the obvious case of her reporting abuse, or her simply asking for counselling or advice.

So that's an excessively long comment, but how many times do we get to insert nuance into a blog comment? Heh. Anyway, that's where I'm coming from.

Bob Cleveland said...

One small observation: When we preach or teach, it is not we who impress with the words we say ... it is the Holy Spirit Who is in charge of that. Something about "Neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything ... but God Who gives the increase".

Saying that women are unqualified to be used thusly by God is ludicrous on its face.

Bridget said...

Not sure where you get your info. Illegal immigration crossings have been going down for over a decade. Almost half the illegal immigrants don't come across the southern border, they overstay their visas. To reassure you - I am against illegal immigration. I am against removing children from their parents at the border (there are other options). I am for making a way for illegal immigrants to become citizens if they have lived in our country (without issue) for decades. I am against spending billions on a wall.

The Bible is clear about how to treat the alien and strangers in your midst.

Lee Enochs said...

You are a clever man Pastor Wade. Not convinced but you bring up some good points my friend.

Anonymous said...

As I was reflecting on the issue of Romans 13 awhile back and head it again, there is this funny thing in certain Christian circles (and even political leaders, hmmm) who teach that we are to obey and submit to government based on Romans 13. Hardly, and here is why. There were too many laws at the time that THAT REQUIRED INVOLVEMENT IN PARTICIPATION of worshiping and celebration of the gods of the Greco-Roman Empire. Paul would be recommending following the idolatry laws if Romans 13 suggest that is what that passage means. So what does it mean? Well lets consider what unconverted Israel wanted Jesus to do the leaders of the Greco-Roman empire. Many had a seditious desire in wanting Jesus to uprise and overthrow the empire. I would suggest that by that common attitude of the unconverted Jews at the time, Paul was simply suggesting a peaceful attitude, not a reverent submission toward ungodly leaders and the laws of idolatry that were part of the Greco-Roman system. With this in mine, a woman can indeed head to the wisdom of the Torah and urge repentance. Many did in the early church. Also, many Messianic congregations, the woman are allowed to read Scriptures and share testimony in a congregation. Where did Baptist get off in thinking they know more than a Messianic Jew and think it's somehow sinning for a saved woman to point it to a lost male that they are lot are in need of a Savior?

Christiane said...

Anonymous,
On our hearts, God has written a clear direction for us to follow. If we are asked to follow another law (man-made) that is inhumane, we are not obligated to go in the direction of evil. We have the guidance of our God-given consciences so that we will be able to discern what is right and what is not right. We must, as Christian people, follow the Royal Law of Christ which trumps all laws that are inhumane.

We are NOT obliged to be like those who unquestioningly follow orders that are inhumane. Not even our military are obliged to follow any order which is inhumane, and that is because our military has an honor code based on our American values. Our Christian values also protect us from following evil because someone in power says 'the Bible clearly says we must obey our leaders'. Most Christians know this. Then again, some seem a bit lost as to what IS honorable these days. Hopefully, they will soon view their decisions in a better light and renew their hearts to focus again on Our Lord and His 'Way'. We can hope.

Anonymous said...

34 white, 1 black professors. The 1 black is for few blacks that may be admitted to fulfill diversity quota. No women to teach pastors applies only to whites. A white woman could teach blacks, immigrants, and Africans because a white woman is still more human than blacks, immigrants, and Africans. It will take divine intervention for Southern Baptists (old and young) to see the light of equality before God and gifting for ministry.